Who said women are technophobes?
When it comes to searching online for newly built homes, it's most likely a younger woman doing the browsing for housing.
Among the 5,486 participants who answered American Home Guide's survey to profile online new home shoppers, more than 60 percent were women and 73 percent of them were younger than 45. The smaller group of men shoppers were older. Only 59 percent of them were younger than 45.
"These results clearly dispel the dated stereotypes of women being uncomfortable with computers and technology," said Barry Lynn, president and founder of American Home Guides, a Web site which operates house-hunting (for newly built homes) Web sites covering 28 states and Puerto Rico.
The study is in line with others which say women have been a major force behind home purchases both since the advent of the Internet and before.
The survey, conducted during June and July this year, says the prototypical online home buyer is a 26- to 35-year-old woman with an annual household income between $50,000 and $100,000 a year.
She's most likely looking for a single-family home priced between $100,000 and $250,000 somewhere in the southern United States, and she's likely to purchase it in the next three months.
The Internet is by far her primary source of new home information, and she uses it between one and three hours a week during her search -- which she conducts without the help of a real estate agent.
The survey also found women spend more time surfing for a home -- about 26 percent of the men who responded to the survey said they search online for more than three hours a week, while more than 32 percent of the women reported spending that much time online looking for a home.
"Women ... are a bit more patient, and more interested in details," Lynn said.
The survey also found:
"Obviously, we expected the Internet to be the top choice among online home buyers, but the gaping margin between it and the other sources is pretty dramatic," said Lynn.
"This result is consistent with what the National Association of Realtors announced in their own recent survey, where 57 percent more people reported first learning about the home they bought on the Internet than through newspapers," he added.
That is another misleading statistic. Many new home buyers typically do not use a real estate agent, except in soft new home markets.
"Online buyers are capable of finding listings on their own, and even younger and less-experienced buyers are looking to agents only to walk them through the complex final details of a home purchase," Lynn said.